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The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown

3.7 of 5 stars 3.70  ·  rating details  ·  577 ratings  ·  102 reviews
During the spring of 1536 in Tudor England, events conspire to bring down Anne Boleyn, the Queen of England. The coup against the Queen results in the brutal executions of six innocent people - Anne Boleyn herself, her brother, and four courtiers - and the rise of a new Queen. Drawing on sixteenth century letters, eye witness accounts and chronicles, Claire Ridgway leads t ...more
Paperback, 348 pages
Published April 30th 2012 by MadeGlobal Publishing/Create Space (first published April 26th 2012)
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Community Reviews

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Rio (Lynne)
If you want to learn about the actual happenings of this trial and time, this is the only book you need to read. Just like today, the press spins stories to manipulate the public and if people read it, they sadly believe it. In 1536 it was no different. The author includes The Chronicle of Calais and The Spanish Chronicle's versions of the beheadings. How different they are. Then we have Eustace Chapuys version (a man we know who was not on The Boleyn's side) and writers and some historians have ...more
I have to admit I was somewhat wary of this book. Overall, however, it is actually very good. What I particularly liked, perhaps Ridgway's tone, was the fact that she presents areas of dispute equally. In other words, she gives the evidence for each side, gives each side equal room, and then explains her conclusion.

But I have to agree with Isis - Seymour's death is wrong, I believe. This could be a typo. - See comment section below. Apparently this is going to be fixed. I must say Ridgway is a L
After having read Hilary Mantel’s richly detailed Bring Up the Bodies, depicting the downfall of the Boleyns from the perspective of Thomas Cromwell, I had a sudden hankering to get back to the stark, unadorned sources and facts about events. Claire Ridgway’s The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown was ideal for that purpose, presenting events in an extremely clear and useful chronological format, and cutting through the mire of myth and examining source reliability and bias as we go along. It’s th ...more
This was well written with a lot of quotes from primary sources so the author has clearly done extensive research. But it felt more like a collection of blog entries (which may very well be the case). I think it could have been edited differently to flow better rather than having short, choppy chapters that were sometimes only a page or two long.

Occasionally, I felt it was a little vague in places where I was interested in seeing more detail. For example, the author details how others have come
I appreciated the small opening biographies of the "cast" and did glean a lot of information from this book, so overall I did enjoy it.

However, there were times when I was very frustrated with the author. If you are looking for excerpts of old writings and letters to collaborate theories, this is the book for you. If you just want to read a narrative of what happened (or one person's thoughts on what happened), I have a harder time recommending this. Many of the quotes and excerpts that were us
In a word - Excellent! I've read dozens of books related to Tudor history, specifically Anne Boleyn and this is one of the best. The information is presented in an easy to follow and logical order that is practically impossible to put down. I have always believed the situation surrounding the the fall of Anne Boleyn to be a case of The perfect storm" and I had to smile when I saw I really wasn't alone in this opinion. Definitely a book I will be reading again!
Some good research here and told without too much spin (there is some although the author does better than most in trying to avoid it). Unfortunately, the writing style was like that of an unschooled teenager and did not appeal to me.
In this book Claire Ridgway plots the last few months of Anne Boleyn’s life, the players in her dramatic fall and details the reasons behind Anne’s execution. She starts her book by giving a brief description of the people involved in Anne Boleyn’s fall; Henry VIII, Thomas Cromwell, George Boleyn, Katherine of Aragon, Jane Seymour, Eustace Chapuys and of course Anne Boleyn just to name a few. I thought this was a wonderful inclusion as there were many people involved within those fatal few month ...more
This book was entertaining and informative. However, there were a lot of typos and grammatical errors and I really thought it was unprofessional when the author started saying "I think" or "in my opinion". It's one thing for a blog, but completely another where you are writing a book that (I am assuming?) you want to be taken seriously. On the plus side, Ms. Ridgway is serious about her endeavor to discover and spread the truth about a poorly understood and misremembered (I am making up my own w ...more
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This is a well thought out and thoroughly researched book about the last days of Anne Boleyn. I love learning about "The Tudor Era" and this book is one of the best I have read. Very historically written and it is in the form of a diary. This book makes me respect Anne Boleyn more than I have before. Most documents make her out to be snotty and irrespectable. This is a total opposite account of what she was like. I definitely recommend to those who like British history and King Henry VIII period ...more
Susan Jo Grassi
I truly enjoyed this book. I am a history fanatic, so I was very pleased to win this in the GR giveaways. The book is written as a journal and gives both sides of the controversy as to whether or not Anne Boleyn was guilty of the actions for which she was crudely convicted and cruelly executed. The author's research was extensive and very well stated. I have always felt an intense dislike for King Henry VIII, yet Anne went to her execution with loyalty for him on her lips.
This book is a great summary of Anne Boleyn's final days. I found it very interesting and could easily follow the events that unfolded. Claire always tries to do her best to use historical resources and knows the bias of the person who wrote it. A great book for those interested in what happened to Anne and to get rid of a lot of myths around her life.

Written in a rather conversational tone it might make you suspect of what the author is trying to pass off. However, this book does a nice job of a condensed history of the fall of Anne Boleyn. My favourite part however, is the catalogue of historical characters, especially the "after" ones. You don't see that very often
Michele Kallio
An excellent minute by minute, day by day journal entry style telling of the downfall of Anne Boleyn. The research is impeccable and through. i hihgly receommend this book to anyone interested in the final days of Anne Boleyn!!!!!! Ridgway is to be commended on her book! Loved it!
Kara Hunter
This is a must read for anyone who wants to know more about Anne Boleyn than what the Natalie Portman movie, and the tv series gives you. Ridgeway did a fabulous job recounting every event that led to Boleyn's fall. If you love Tudor history, this is the book for you!
Only read this because it was free in the Kindle Lending Library. No new information and not very well-written, but a basic layouts of the facts from original sources that allows readers to make their own decision about Anne Boleyn's fate and who sentenced her to it.
Kilian Metcalf
A complete, concise, and comprehensive account of the fall and death of Anny Boleyn. There is a bonus list of the primary actors in the case with their own eventual ends. I found it very useful for reference.
Alissa Chandler
A really bad book. Tedious, boring and these were the best parts. I can't say enough negative things about this book.
I was very disappointment and this is a topic I absolutely love.
Claire Ridgway
Apr 30, 2012 Claire Ridgway added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
My own book!
Touted as the "real truth" about the Tudors, the book is presented in diary format, detailing the events leading up to Anne Boleyn's execution. It also includes a "cast of characters" so the reader is familiar with those working for, and against, Anne's downfall. As a reader of Claire Ridgway's blog, I was excited to read this. While I appreciate the citations and sourced information, I found that there wasn't much new in the book that isn't easily found on the blog. All one need do is head to t ...more
Claire Ridgeway does an excellent job making the material of Anne Boleyn’s fall accessible to all readers: those well-versed in the material, novices and everyone in-between. I happen to fall in the in-between having my own blog on Queen Elizabeth I at

The layout garners itself for modern readers who are used to jumping from topic to topic on internet pages. That actually leads to one of my two concerns with this book for those of us who read materials cover to cover —lar
This book is a careful collation of facts and dates to clear the fictions around the actual persons and events of those tumultous and murderous Tudors. It's very well put together and presented, and in a sense is the "User Guide" to all the material we have around, that makes great fiction but may not be accurate factually. It's careful timeline and presentation of facts forces you to think and make up your mind about what really went on, especially the farcical trials by juries.
I didn't realis
Tracey Watson
I found this book very informative and enjoyable. The format of the book is on the whole well set out so that the reader can dip into it as and when. As a Tudor fan, and having read both non fiction and fiction on this subject I was pleasantly surprised how this book highlighted events and timelines which others haven't and putting the events of Anne Boleyn and the King in perspective. I feel that much of the information has definitely opened my eyes to another side of side of those in the Tudor ...more
Megan Roman
I decided to kick off 2013 with The Fall of Anne Boleyn because, really, it’s been far too long since my last Tudor read. And while I have a few biographies sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be cracked open, I opted to revisit Ridgway’s personable and accessible writing style instead. Similarly to The Anne Boleyn Collection, The Fall of Anne Boleyn, at times, reads like a conversation that the reader could be taking part in with the author. I love that you don’t only get historical facts and ex ...more
Jaime Rispoli-Roberts
This really was a countdown to Anne Boleyn's fall. After a brief introduction, the book jumps straight into Summer of 1535 and The Royal Progress. It doesn't just end with the execution of Queen Anne; There are a few short chapters on Jane Seymour and a sort of "where they are now" of many of the royal "players" after Anne's execution. It was very informative, clearly written and interesting.

I am a history major with a concentration is on US history, therefore, although I have studied some Euro
Ridgway carefully sifts the evidence surrounding Anne Boleyn's fall from the King's favor, her trial, and execution. I've read my fair share of Tudor history, but Ridgway still made several points new to me. For instance, although I knew the space of time between accusing Anne of adultery and her execution was short (less than a month!), I never realized that only days before the accusations Henry was still referring to Anne as his queen in writing and pushing for foreign courts to recognize her ...more
I thought this book was very informational. I liked that the author gave us background on the individuals involved in the execution of Anne Boleyn and discussed all the events leading up to it. I did not like that the author frequently writes very informally. She inserts her personal opinion using the first person and short quips. For a nonfictional work like this I prefer for it to not be first person.

I really enjoyed this book from Claire Ridgway of the brilliant and well respected 'Anne Boleyn Files' website. I've read several books on Anne Boleyn, some of them quite weighty, but this book is not (as Claire herself says) a biography of Anne, nor a history book. Instead its set out in a diary format with the events leading up to Anne's fall covered chronologically. There is also a section focusing on the cast of characters who played a part in the events of 1536. This is not an exhaustive a
Claire Ridgway's day-by-day summary of the rise and fall of the second and possibly most famous and maligned of Henry VIII's wives works perfectly for readers with a casual interest in the true story of Anne Boleyn. It also works as an excellent refresher for more interested readers who don't need an embroidered account but will appreciate a clean recounting of events based on deep research into the various original and more recent sources. Ridgway does a good job of balancing the various theori ...more
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Claire Ridgway is the author of the best-selling books On This Day in Tudor History(October 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection (Feb 2012), The Fall of Anne Boleyn: A Countdown (April 2012), The Anne Boleyn Collection II (September 2013) and George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat (April 2014), as well as Interviews with Indie Authors

Claire worked in education and freelance writing before c
More about Claire Ridgway...
The Anne Boleyn Collection: The Real Truth about the Tudors On This Day in Tudor History Sweating Sickness: In a Nutshell The Anne Boleyn Collection II George Boleyn: Tudor Poet, Courtier and Diplomat

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